Netherlands jail man over Saudi embassy shooting

Netherlands jail man over Saudi embassy shooting
2 min read
24 December, 2021
The 41-year-old shot 29 times with a Glock pistol at the embassy in The Hague early on November 12 last year.
Nobody was hurt in the shooting but a security guard is said to still be traumatised [Getty]

A man who fired shots at the Saudi embassy in the Netherlands last year was handed four years in jail on Friday, but judges said he had no terror motive.

The 41-year-old, only identified as Mohamed A., shot 29 times with a Glock pistol at the embassy in The Hague early on November 12 last year.

Nobody was hurt but a security guard is said to still be traumatised.

"The court therefore sentences him to four years in prison," The Hague District Court's judges said in a statement.

But the judges disagreed with prosecutors, who said Mohammed A. had a terror motive for the attack.

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"He was unhappy with the way the Saudi embassy was dealing with a deep-rooted wish for him to emigrate to Mecca and Medina," the judges said, adding that he suffered from psychological problems including "delusions of grandeur with religious undertones".

"He had been to the embassy more than once to try and get a visa," the judges added, "and had previously defaced the building".

"All this leads to the conclusion that the court does not consider it proven that the suspect acted with a terrorist intent," the judges said.

However, while in detention Mohamed A. will receive mandatory treatment for his psychological problems, the judges said.

The shooting came a day after a bomb blast struck a World War I commemoration attended by foreign diplomats in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

Dutch police initially investigated whether the two incidents were related.